Tennessee Candidate Comparison

Karl Dean (D)

Former Mayor of Nashville

Bill Lee (R)


Education Record/History Education Record/History*
2015: Founded a non-profit, pro-charter school organization called Project Renaissance Created Lee Company University, a technical school that trains employees in skills ranging from welding to plumbing, and HVAC.
2014: Expressed verbal support for Senate Bill 0830, which allowed the Tennessee State Board of Education to override local school boards regarding the authorization of new charter schools in their districts *This candidate has not previously held public office
Education Platform Education Platform
School Funding:  Pledged to make education funding a priority. According to Dean’s campaign website, education funding for Nashville schools increased by 37% during his terms as mayor School Funding: Advocates for the creation of a new inspector general position to identify inefficient spending in education
School Choice: Supports charter schools but opposes both for-profit charter schools and private school vouchers  School Choice: Supports expanding school choice and generating innovation through both charter schools and Education Saving Accounts (ESAs)
Pre-K: Supports increasing the quality of existing pre-K programs and also expanding access  Pre-K: Supports increasing the quality of existing pre-K programs in order to generate more sustainable gains for students
Wraparound Services: Supports partnering with nonprofits and foundations to provide free afterschool programs for middle school students most in need Workforce Development:  Advocates for schools to partner with private sector organizations to support apprenticeships, instructor training, and curriculum design
Teachers: Supports increasing teacher pay to attract and retain high quality teachers Teachers: Supports making teacher pay more competitive, increasing teacher freedom, and providing for professional development 
Higher Education: Supports Governor Haslam’s Tennessee Promise program, which focuses on increasing the number of college students in the state   



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